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I Bought The Gadgets, Where’s the Payback?

2015 Precision Agriculture Conference Breakout Session Session

By Jean-Paul McDonald

The thought of precision agriculture is still new to many farmers and producers, and many who are using precision agriculture tools are looking for the payback. A large number of farmers and producers haven’t adapted precision agriculture into their businesses due to the number of unanswered questions, such as what resources and tools are needed to get maximum results? How will using precision agriculture tools help me make good business decisions, as well as where and when will I see a return on investment?

At the early morning breakout session at the 2015 Precision Agriculture Conference held in London, Ontario, February 26th, Tim Little, Precision Ag Specialist in Growmark addressed the audience and their questions about where they can expect to see the payback in relation to precision agriculture.

Since 2008 Little has been working with Growmark, based out of its Caledonia, New York, location as the Sales & Operations Manager. The audience at the breakout session was a mixed crowd, with close to one third already using precision agriculture technologies. To discuss options on how to get the most out of precision agriculture tools, Little talked about the 4Rs principal.

4Rs Principal

  1. Right Source (such as matching fertilizer type to crop needs, etc.)
  2. Right Rate (such as soil samples, mapping, etc.)
  3. Right Time (such as climate, rain, etc.)
  4. Right Place (such as keeping nutrients where the crops can use them, etc.)

After discussing the 4Rs with the audience, Little asked the question “Should there be 5Rs?,” the fifth R being the right tools (having the right tools, and using them to make good business decisions).

Growmark works with Agrinetix, a precision agriculture technology company, to help producers get the most out of precision agriculture tools, which should lead to a return on investment for farmers. Little explained that doing what needs to done, when it needs to be done is one of the main benefits and challenges related to adopting precision agriculture techniques.


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